Tips for balancing our time budget

People always say, “time is money,” but that’s not true. Time is more important than money. Yes, money has its constraints – you can run out of it, but at least you have options to budget and get yourself back on track. If you run out of time, that’s a different story: Even with 86,400 seconds in a day, there’s never enough time to get everything done.

I recently read a great article from Harvard Business Review that discusses how CEOs manage their time. The article breaks down a recent study on how CEOs handled everything from key meetings to sleep over a three-month period. The author noted that even though the study included CEOs of large public companies, “its findings have implications for all leaders (including executives of nonprofits) looking for ways to use their time and influence more effectively.”

The study revealed that CEOs worked roughly 10 hours per weekday, 4 hours on weekends, and 2.4 hours on vacations. All in, the numbers average out to 62.5 hours per week. This doesn’t include travel, which many of us do. However, the study also revealed that around 6 hours a day, CEOs were awake and not working. This included time spent on hobbies, watching television, and with family. This balance is critical to be able to perform in all aspects of work and life. But how can we maximize our efficiency, so both our business and personal lives can be at their best?

The article gives a variety of answers. First, the author recommends CEOs avoid e-mailing often. We are often copied on endless e-mails and find ourselves responding late into the night, on weekends, holidays, and vacations. While it makes us more available, it makes our time management more convoluted.


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